For those who enjoy a glass of beer, the shape of the glass itself can be very important. The shape of the beer glass has evolved in the US since the 1800s. We now have a range of beer glasses that suit anything from stout to pale ales. It’s all about enhancing the aromas and maintaining the foam head. Some are even etched with lasers to control the bubbles of carbon dioxide.
The best beer mugs are a great way of treating yourself but they also make fantastic gifts. They often come in presentation boxes and can be a welcome gift at bachelor parties and housewarmings. It can be a bit confusing to work out which glass should match up with which beer. To cut through the confusion, we have prepared a simple guide to the best beer mugs.
The Best Beer Mug
Here you don’t just get a single best beer mug, you get a set of four pub glasses that are made in the USA and are just right for your beer at home when you are entertaining friends and want matching glasses. They are durable and can be cleaned in the dishwasher over and over again without any problems.
These beer mugs are made from soda ash glass and are completely lead-free so they are also kind to the environment. They are produced by a manufacturer with a long and proud heritage of glass manufacture that dates back to the 1800s.
Durable and dishwasher-proof
Set of four glasses
Made from soda ash glass
- BrandArc International
- Weight3 pounds
No matter what type of beer you choose to drink, you will have the appropriate glass when you choose this set of assorted beer glasses. They each have special characteristics that bring out the unique flavor of each beverage. If you are a seasoned beer drinker or just starting out, this will enable you to enjoy your drink to the fullest. Buy this as a treat for yourself or select it as an ideal gift for the beer connoisseur in your life.
In your pack you will get a classic pilsner glass, an English pub glass, a Belgian ale glass, porter/stout glass, a wheat beer glass and a craft pub glass. They are all made from lead-free glass and are shipped securely to you carefully packed. They are very durable and are suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher.
Set of six glasses
Makes an ideal gift
Made from lead-free glass
- Weight4.7 pounds
A set of four classic vintage Pilsner glasses which will each hold 21 fluid ounces. Thanks to the wonderful Waterford cuts they are exceptionally clear and also weigh very little. They make an ideal gift as they are both beautiful and practical and come presented in a gift box.
The glass in these beer glasses is lead-free crystalline and is very durable. It is recommended that you hand wash these elegant glasses and do not put them in the dishwasher.
Set of four classic vintage Pilsner glasses
Each holds 21 fluid ounces
Clear and lightweight
Hand wash only
- Weight3.35 pounds
The best choice for you if you like to combine a bit of history with your beer drinking. This Viking horn is fashioned on the traditional Nordic drinking vessel from thousands of years ago. It features a natural finish and is made from a single solid piece of horn. However, so that it can meet modern standards of safety and hygiene, it has an acrylic base and is coated with non-toxic food safe lacquer.
This beer mug can be a quirky addition to your home drinks cupboard or it makes a great wedding or birthday gift and is ideal as a prop for shows and plays. It’ll appeal to fans of Game of Thrones, Norse Mythology and Lord of the Rings. It comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Handcrafted horn tankard
Made from a single piece of horn
Coated with food safe lacquer
- Weight2 pounds
For lovers of the traditional Irish beverage, you can’t go wrong with this set of four beer glasses. They are emblazoned with the Guinness name and harp emblem to show off the dark stout in all its glory. You get a set of four glasses so they are perfect for a gift or to just enjoy yourself.
The glass is totally hygienic and durable and it is safe to put them in the dishwasher. Each glass goes through extensive tests and controls before it leaves the factory to make sure that it meets the highest standards in terms of quality, purity and safety.
Set of four glasses
Guinness name and emblem
Durable and quality-controlled
- BrandArc International
- Weight3.6 pounds
For lovers of German beers, this mug will keep your beer nice and cold and will accentuate the unique aroma and taste. It is tailor-made for thick ales and lagers and will help you enjoy them to the fullest. They make a fantastic 21st birthday gift or give them to your mates at a housewarming or bachelor party.
In each set of glass beer mugs, there are four mugs which each hold 16 fluid ounces. The beer mugs are made from lead-free glass and are both durable and dishwasher-safe.
Set of four German beer glasses
Preserves taste and aroma
- Weight8.3 pounds
Host a party that your friends will remember with this set of six glass chalices. They are authentic Stella Artois glasses which let this iconic lager flow, breathe and develop as the brewers intended.
The shape has been very carefully designed so that the carbon dioxide will enhance the head. The shape also retains the aroma and flavor. As you pour the lager into the glass, the angles cause a wave to form which enhance it further. The beer stays cold, right until the last drop. These glasses have been hand-crafted which will optimize freshness and flavor. Each is embossed with the Stella Artois logo and has a premium gold-leaf rim. They are safe for you to put in the dishwasher.
Set of six chalices
Enhance s aroma and flavor
Embossed with the Stella Artois logo
- BrandStella Artois
- Weight8 ounces
A pack of six glasses for the true beer drinker who wants to make the most of their beverage. Each glass has a design etched at the bottom of the glass so that a steady stream of light carbon dioxide bubbles is created. They rise gently to the top of the glass and maintain a perfect head. This also has the effect of releasing the natural craft beer aroma and intense flavor.
They are comfortable to hold and easy to drink from thanks to the wide bowl and curved top-lip. When you are not drinking from them, they can be stacked away as they fit into each other neatly.
These are suitable for everyday use, for entertaining or as a unique gift for any home brewer or beer enthusiast.
Set of six glasses
Etched to form carbon dioxide bubbles
Wide bowl and curved top-lip
- BrandDU VINO
- Weight5.45 pounds
A set of four elegant wheat beer glasses which can each hold 23 fluid ounces and are over eight inches tall. The very generous capacity and the unique shape will enhance the flavor and drinking experience of several types of beer. Therefore, if you are an enthusiast of wheat beers or light ales, these are the glass you need in your home.
These glasses are made in the USA and make a fantastic gift at a housewarming party. They are very durable and you can wash them in the dishwasher.
Four elegant wheat beer glasses
Generous capacity and unique shape
Enhances flavor and aroma
- Weight5.1 pounds
Proudly made right here in the USA, you get a set of four tulip style beer glasses that have short stems and will hold up to 16 fluid ounces of beer. You also get a set of four cork coasters to protect your furniture.
The attractive tulip design has a curvy shape which is narrower at the rim and base. It will therefore support a beer with a foamy head and captures the volatiles so that you get to experience the best of the aroma and flavors. As the glasses have a stem, the beer is not in contact with your hands and stays cold so it keeps its taste for longer.
The glasses are dishwasher safe and can be put in the freezer and microwave.
Four tulip style beer glasses
Supports a beer with a foamy head
Dishwasher safe and freezer safe
- Weight3.2 pounds
This beautiful tester glass is just what the true beer expert and home brewer needs. It has been designed and lovingly crafted in Italy and has a distinctive bowl shape to let you fully appreciate the aromas and taste of the beverage.
The shape of these craft beer glasses has been designed to make the beer flow slowly into your mouth so that your palette has time to savor it properly. At the same time, it will maintain the foam head right until the last drop. The glass has a foam control system at the base and a circle has been laser etched into the glass so that a constant stream of carbon dioxide bubbles is maintained. This constantly replenishes the head and releases the aromas. The glass is made from lead-free crystal glass and is dishwasher safe. There are no molded seams on the pulled stems and the foot is flat to provide better stability and make the glass easy to hold. You get a 25-year guarantee against chipping and discoloration.
Distinctive bowl shape to appreciate taste
Laser etched to maintain head
Made from lead-free crystal glass
- BrandLuigi Bormioli
- Weight7.5 ounces
This is a set of four pint glasses with a narrow lipped rim – just right for enjoying a glass of Samuel Adams beer. Each glass is 6.75 inches tall and will hold a full 16 ounces. They are in the tulip style so they will support a strong head on the beer. Also, they will enhance the flavor and aroma of beers like Samuel Adams so you can enjoy them as they were meant to be drank.
The nucleation ring is etched and each of the glasses is individually wrapped and beautifully presented. They would make a perfect gift for the discerning beer drinker in your life.
Set of four pint glasses
Embossed with Samuel Adams logo
Tulip shape to support head and enhance aroma
Each glass is individually wrapped
- BrandSamuel Adams Brewery
- Weight3.06 pounds
A genuine dimpled glass beer stein that has been imported from Germany, this is what you need to enjoy German beers the way they should be consumed. It features the HB logo and has Hofbrauhaus Munchen written below the logo.
The glass in this beer stein has a solid feel to it and weighs just under 3 pounds. It will hold a full one liter of beer.
Genuine dimpled glass beer stein
Imported from Germany
Weighs just under 3 pounds
HB logo and Hofbrauhaus Munchen printed on glass
- Weight3 pounds
Here you get two classic British beer pint glasses in which you can serve imperial pints to your guests. They have been crafted with a heavy ridge which is less likely to chip when you are washing them. It also makes it easier for stacking them in your cupboard.
Each glass has an official crown pint seal that has been carefully etched into the glass. These have been imported from Europe.
Two classic British beer pint glasses
Heavy ridge to prevent chipping
Easy to stack
Official crown pint seal etched into the glass
- Weight1.55 pounds
Best Beer Mug Buying Guide
Brief History of Beer Mugs
When you are enjoying your pint of beer, the history of the glass that you are drinking it from is probably furthest from your mind. However, the history of beer mugs is a fascinating subject and worth knowing about.
Originally, beer was not drunk out of glass containers at all. Until the end of the 1800s, it was drunk out of pewter tankards because they were good at hiding the sediment that floated around the beer. Then, as gas lighting was introduced and beer filtration methods improved, more customers were interested to see how clear their beer was and the beer glass was launched!
The very first mass-produced beer glass had 10 sides and a handle and looked like a mug. It became widely used throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Then, at the end of the 1940s, it was replaced by the dimpled beer mug which is made out of thick glass with the classic indentations. It suited the drinking habits of this time when amber bitter became popular and looked good in the dimpled glass.
In the 1960s, beer drinkers decided that they would prefer a lighter and straighter glass. This led to the invention of a new style glass which had a bulge an inch from the top. The bulge helped to prevent chips near the rim when the glasses were being washed together.
In counties like Germany and Belgium, there are many different branded glasses for each type of beer. In the US, most beer glass innovations have been driven by the brewing industry but real ale enthusiasts will still prefer to choose the right type of glass for the style of beer that they are drinking.
Why Does the Shape Matter?
When it comes to alcoholic beverages, the glass that you are drinking out of is so important. There is no point in paying a high price for a premium beer if you are going to drink it out of a plastic cup! So, when you are choosing the glass for your beer, does the shape really matter? Yes, it does, and this is why.
Firstly, let’s think about the smell of the beer. The aroma that you get from the beer is a big part of the enjoyment and has an influence on how we taste it. By choosing the right shape glass for your particular beer, you will get the most out of the aroma. If we take the tulip glass and the Belgian beer as an example. It is wide at the bottom and thins out near the top. Then it flares out again at the rim. The head of the beer is held at the bottleneck (thinner part) of the glass. This is where all the citrus and hop aromas will sit. You will get that classic wheat aroma before you even take one sip. The glass keeps the aromas right there where you need them.
The width of the rim is also important. The rim of a glass dictates the way you drink from it and the way you drink greatly affects the way you taste the beer. A wide rim allows the beer to flow very quickly into your mouth and conversely, a narrow rim only lets the beer slowly flow out. Also, a wide rim allows a lot of the beer to be exposed to the air. This makes it aerate rapidly. The result is that a lot of the carbon dioxide leaves the beer at once. However, if you are drinking it quickly thanks to the wide brim that won’t be such a problem!
The last thing to consider is how the shape of the glass affects the appearance of the beer. Sometimes, it is all about making a statement. Take the Stella Artois chalice for example. This is all about being seen with a glass with a fancy stem rather than keeping your hands away from the beer and therefore keeping it cold.
Pilsner glasses actually serve a purpose when it comes to appearance. They are thin and light and are designed for easy-drinking beers. Because they are simply designed and tapered from the bottom, they have a tall profile which shows off the beer’s lovely color. It also encourages a long pour which forms the ideal head on the beer. Another example is the weizen, which is also called a wheat beer glass. These are also designed to show off the glorious head. This glass is part chalice and part pilsner glass and has a narrow bottom which then leads up to a bigger bowl shape at the top. This gives plenty of surface area where the glass can show off the unfiltered and hazy appearance of the beer. At the same time, the wide rim contains the thick head of foam.
Beer glasses affect the taste, appearance and odor of beer in a very subtle way. In the end, if you are using the wrong glass, it is not really the end of the world!
Types of Beer Glasses
There is not just one type of beer glass! Here are the main types of glasses that you could choose from.
- The traditional pint glass
This is the traditional, straight-sided beer glass that allows the beer aromas to escape but is also cheap and easy to store and drink out of. Use it for American Amber Ales, IPAs, Oatmeal Stouts, Brown Ales and Porters.
- Flute Beer Glass
These are perfect for showing off the bubbles because they retain carbonation. As a result, the aroma of the beer is more intense. They are just right for Czech Pilsners, Weizenbocks, Dortmunders and German Pilsners.
- Weizen Glass
This is the glass of choice when you are drinking wheat beers. They will show off the head and the volume and hold the wheat beer aroma tightly – just as it should be. This is what you need to buy if you like to drink Hefeweizens, Weizenbocks and Wheat Ales.
- Mug or Stein
The best thing about the stein is that is will hold a lot of beer! It also makes the beer very easy to drink. Because German beer steins have handles, your hand does not come close to the beer and will not heat it up. Choose this beer mug for your American Pale Ales, your Scottish Ales and your English Bitters as well as Stouts and Witbier.
- Goblet glass
These are a very regal-looking glass which is made to suit rich and thick beers. They have a very wide rim which will maintain the beer’s head. These are designed to help you take a deep sip of the beer so you would use them for Belgian Strong Dark Ales and Dubbels as well as Quadruples and Belgian IPAs.
- Snifter beer glass
These are actually designed for drinks like cognac and brandy and the shape is all about letting you take in the gorgeous aromas. However, they can also be used for Barleywines, Stouts, Double/Imperial IPAs and any other strong ale that you only drink small quantities of.
- Tulip Glass
As the name suggests, the shape is based on that of a tulip flower. They are just right for beers with a big foamy head as the shape will support the structure. They also enhance the odor of aromatic beers. Therefore, a tulip glass is perfect for Scotch Ales and Belgian Pale Ales but will also suit Saisons, Flanders Red Ales and Belgian Strong Ales very well.
- Stange glasses
These suit a delicate brew best because they have the effect of concentrating the fragrance into a narrow area so that your nose can detect it. They are therefore ideal for Bocks, Rye Beers, Czech Pilsners and Kölsch.
Why Frost a Mug?
Frosting a beer mug is a traditional US habit that is loved by some and loathed by others. Many US households have a couple of beer glasses permanently ‘on stand-by’ in the freezer. However, there are also several beer experts who claim that US consumers are drinking their beer at too low a temperature to enjoy it properly. They argue that the cold masks flavor in beer and to fully appreciate the subtle hop and caramelized malt flavors, you need it to be served at between 40 and 55 degrees F. If the beer comes from a chilled keg room in the first place, pouring it into a frosted glass will make it too cold.
However, it is the perfect solution for drinking beers at home that you have stored at room temperature. By decanting them into a frosty glass, you can reduce the temperature from 62 degrees F (room temperature) to 48 degrees F within two minutes. This means that you can free-up space in your chiller for other things but still enjoy a cool glass of beer when you want to.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick of the best beer mugs is a set of four pub glasses made right here in the USA. Each glass is very durable and can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
The mugs are manufactured from soda ash glass and are lead-free. They can be used at home or given as an attractive gift.